SpongeBob SquarePants The Cosmic Shake features many references from the show but is slowed down by dull combat.
After the success of SpongeBob SquarePants Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated THQ Nordic announced that it had teamed with Purple Lamp Studios to create a cute and simple platformer, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake. Although the game is simple, it addresses some of the issues that hampered SpongeBob SquarePants Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated.
SpongeBob SquarePants will quickly be a hit with die-hard SpongeBob lovers. It’s full of nostalgic references and lighthearted gameplay, and SpongeBob SquarePants is sure to please. Although the game is not the most complex platformer, it can be viewed as a way to introduce new players to platforming.
Bikini Bottom is where players start. Patrick Star and SpongeBob SquarePants are sold mermaid tears that can grant any wish by Kassandra, the fortune-teller. SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick fail to understand the fine print, and the bubbles explode, allowing all their friends to travel to different Wishworlds. SpongeBob has to rescue his friends and restore Bikini Bottom to normal.
Seven Wishworlds can be explored that are inspired by the TV series. Some of the most popular ones include Halloween Rock Bottom or Prehistoric Kelp Forest. As a player navigates through each portal, they are given missions to complete in order to advance the world and bring SpongeBob back to his missing friends. This is a common pattern throughout the game that makes the overall goal seem stale.
It is easy to learn the mechanics of the game, making it a great choice for those who are new to this platform genre. SpongeBob is able to use pizza boxes for a glider, and will sometimes use a seahorse in the fast-paced sections. While the platforming is simple and easy, it offers semi-complex combinations that can be challenging for players. This can be a problem for those who want a more complex game.
Each Wishworld’s final boss battle will change the game and make it stand out. Gigantic Gary, Halloween Rock Bottom, is an example of a sneaky adventure, while Prawn, Pirate Goo Lagoon, is a traditional dodge-and-attack boss. These boss battles are not new to gaming. However, it’s refreshing to see THQ Nordic or Purple Lamp Studios include modern ideas in the franchise.
There are many secret items that you can find, such as hidden doubloons in each Wishworld. To unlock 30 alternate costumes, SpongeBob can use the doubloons to level up. However, players will need to return to previous Wishworlds to learn new skills. Although the costumes don’t have any special abilities, they can be fun mini-goals within each level.
The art style and graphics are vibrant and crisp. This makes the players feel like they’re actually on a TV show. Although the Wishworlds may not be as intriguing as other platformers, they are still enough to keep you interested long enough to reach the boss. Some Wishworlds may not be as detailed as others, but they are filled with decorations and NPCs.
Combat is SpongeBob SquarePants’ greatest weakness: The Cosmic Shake. To easily defeat most Jelly enemies, players can use SpongeBob’s Karate Kick or Bubble Wand moves. The combat can be slow, and it is often difficult to fight. It’s a great way to break up the monotonous battles with Jelly enemies.
Cutscenes are a great way to keep SpongeBob’s fans interested and break up the monotony. They are bright, funny, and well-acted. It is also exciting to see a game that has been adapted from a long-running series be able to collaborate with the original cast. This only enhances the experience. But, the repetitive voice lines can make it tedious to perform. The game would become a boring collect-and-return game without the cutscenes.
The main storyline is enjoyable, but there will be side quests throughout the game. These quests encourage players to go back to earlier levels and to put an emphasis on making sure no stone is unturned. Side quests, like the costumes above, don’t have a purpose and can only be used to keep players interested longer.
Overall SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake has been a solid title for fans of the TV series, and an excellent way to introduce younger gamers to platforming. Its graphics and design are better than SpongeBob SquarePants Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated, but some will find the lack of diversity among the Jelly enemies or Wishworld designs to be frustrating. It’s still worth it for its endless references to the show.
SpongeBob SquarePants – The Cosmic Shake is out January 30th for PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. Game Rant received a PS5 code in exchange for this review.